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The McBarge is currently anchored in Burrard Inlet near Vancouver, British Columbia

Coordinates: 49°17′35″N 122°58′47″W / 49.293036°N 122.979797°W / 49.293036; -122.979797 The McBarge, officially named the Friendship 500, was a McDonald's restaurant, built on a barge for Expo '86 in Vancouver, British Columbia.[1] Moored on Expo grounds in Vancouver's False Creek, it was the second floating McDonald's location in the world (first being in St Louis, Mo), intended to showcase future technology and architecture.[1][2] Although the floating design allowed for the barge to operate in a new location following the exhibition, the derelict McBarge has been anchored empty in Burrard Inlet,[3] since 1991 amid industrial barges and an oil refinery.[1]

Though disused and forgotten[1] for years, the barge is currently the centrepiece of a proposed waterfront development on the Fraser River in Mission, British Columbia, including a restaurant and marina.[4]


The restaurant was designed by Robert Allan Ltd. for Expo '86 and was one of five McDonald's locations on the Expo grounds, all of which were constructed for a total of $12 million.[2] It was initially intended to be used as a McDonald's restaurant after Expo '86, but the barge remained empty at the Expo grounds until 1991, when the new owner of the grounds forced McDonald's to remove it.[5] It has since been anchored derelict in Burrard Inlet, north of Burnaby, British Columbia.[3][6]

In June 2009, the McBarge's current owner, Gastown developer Howard Meakin, submitted a proposal to the Mission city council for a waterfront development on the Fraser River, with the former McBarge as the centrepiece. Named "Sturgeon's on the Fraser", the development would include multiple restaurants and a marina complex, including paddlewheeler excursions and float plane service to Victoria and Nanaimo.[1][7] As of August 2010,[needs update] the proposal enjoys local support, but awaits council approval.[8] Other proposals that have been put forward without owner interest include using the barge as a homeless shelter to alleviate overcrowding in Vancouver's current temporary shelters.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e Toth, Christina (2010-08-20). "McBarge, a floating relic from Expo 86, gaining new friends on Facebook". Abbotsford Times. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  2. ^ a b Rudolph, Barbara; Stoler, Peter (1986-04-28). "Westward Ho to Expo 86". Time. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  3. ^ a b Sandals, Leah (2010-01-13). "The innocence of a newborn McBarge". National Post. Archived from the original on 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  4. ^ "A vision for the Mission waterfront". Abbotsford News (Black Press). 2009-06-29. Archived from the original on 2009-12-14. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  5. ^ "McBarge floats to new site" (PAY-PER-VIEW). Kitchener-Waterloo Record. 1991-07-11. p. B.4. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  6. ^ Lee, John (2009). Walking Vancouver: 36 Walking Tours Exploring Spectacular Waterfront, Dynamic Neighborhoods, Hip Hangouts, and Tasty Diversions (GOOGLE BOOKS SEARCH). Wilderness Press. p. 106. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  7. ^ "Gastown developer eyes Mission waterfront". Abbotsford Times (Canwest). 2009-07-27. Archived from the original on 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  8. ^ Lewis, Brian (2010-08-22). "Expo 86 McBarge could dock in Mission". The Province. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  9. ^ Howell, Mike (2009-01-08). "Of Olympic promises, shelter stats and the McBarge...". Vancouver Courier. Retrieved 2009-08-28.